The Maiden Factor Blog

Maiden is a Global Ambassador for the Empowerment of Girls through Education

Milebuilder Theresa documents her journey onboard Maiden so far…

We’re over half way to Vancouver! It’s been such a surreal experience so far aboard Maiden. I am so excited to be on this journey and sailing into my home port of Vancouver.

Two women sit on a boat. The women in the foreground is writing on a whiteboard.
The Sailing Academy has just started here in Maiden with the new crew onboard! In the picture Wendy is going over basic sailing terms. ©THE MAIDEN FACTOR/AMALIA INFANTE

Leaving Hawaii we were busy with tasks, getting used to the boat, and dealing with up to 2 meter swells while beating upwind in 25 knots at times. The last few days has given us a calmer sea state and lots of beautiful wildlife. I’ve seen pods of dolphins, a sea turtle, blue footed boobies, flying fish, and even a shark!

Two women on Maiden cut a coconut. Behind them is the water, rope and safety equipment. They both wear hats

It didn’t all hit me until about day 3 or 4, when I looked out into the big blue ocean around me with no land in sight and thought “wow I’m really doing this”. It’s been my dream to sail across an ocean for as long as I can remember. I didn’t grow up by the sea but had always had an insane pull towards it and knew that I wanted to do this whole sailing thing. I had no idea where to start but moving closer to the ocean was a first step.

Steering the boat: one lady in a red jacket and lifejacket is at the helm. The other sits beside and is pointing, directing her
Theresa stands where Tracy Edwards stood in the 89/90 Whitbread ©THE MAIDEN FACTOR/AMALIA INFANTE

There were times when I was discouraged as I didn’t have any mentors or didn’t have a clear path. Though, over time, everything became clearer. What I have learned through all this is something that goes along well with Maiden’s motto. It’s what HM King Hussein I told Tracy Edwards as she pursued her dream of sailing in the Whitbread Round the World race with an all women’s team – anything is possible. I believe this is so true! Nothing in life is easy and you’ll have to work really hard for it (especially if it is something out of the ordinary) but anything is possible.

Theresa sits at the bow of the boat, with a sunrise behind. It is a ocean sea and she smiles, wrapped up warm with a torch in hand.
Spending the night at the bow with a torch in a very misty night means that something really different is happening in this sea. The rubbish in the ocean became a problem to the crew specially now that with a lack of wind they are forced to use the engine. This is how the crew have spent the last night watches, doing turns of 45 minutes each one. In the picture Theresa is finishing her night watch as the sunrise happens. ©THE MAIDEN FACTOR/AMALIA INFANTE

I feel so incredibly lucky to be sailing aboard this legendary yacht which has proved to the world that women are capable of anything they put their mind to. I have already learned so much from the extremely knowledgable female crew aboard Maiden and can’t wait what to see what the rest of this journey will bring. See you soon Vancouver!

High five! Theresa at the helm, in red, grips the wheel with one hand and high fives Tilly with the other. The sea is a dark grey.
Theresa and Tilly high five at Maiden’s helm! ©THE MAIDEN FACTOR/AMALIA INFANTE

-Theresa Riedl